Dignitaries show strong support for CL community

The sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge" was packed with dignitaries on March 8 who arrived in Cascade Locks to show their support for the city's battle against drug and alcohol abuse.

More than 60 officials from all levels of government and area service agency representatives attended the two-hour Drug Free Communities Grant Award Celebration sponsored on March 8 by Cascade Locks Interested in Kids (CLIK).

"It's time to celebrate, relax a little, and have some fun because our work's just begun," said CLIK chair Lynae Hansen.

She gave special recognition during the event to U.S. Congressman Greg Walden, R-Ore., for writing letters and speaking out in support of CLIK's request for a $400,000 federal grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.

"It starts with young people in the schools, it starts with parents and it starts with community leaders," said Walden during his address to the audience.

The special funding is earmarked for enforcement and education purposes and will be disbursed over a four-year period through CLIK. Both law enforcement officials, school personnel and service providers are enlisted in the effort to turn the tide against an encroaching substance abuse and drug trafficking problem.

"Together we can do it better," said Maija Yasui, Hood River County prevention specialist, about the new partnerships.

Walden said the federal funding allows the community of Cascade Locks to "fashion its own solution" to its unique situation.

"It's awesome for a community this small to get a grant that large and I give tremendous credit to Lynae Hansen because she has put incredible energy into this project," said Hood River County Commissioner Carol York.

During the event, Walden also praised high school junior Julie Bach, president/founder, and the other eight members of Oregon Student Safety on The Move for taking a strong stand against substance abuse in the local school.

"It is so important for you to send the message to people younger than you coming up through the ranks because they look up to you," said Walden.

Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, said he was impressed once again by the community spirit that pervades Hood River County.

"I think it's a wonderful example of the sense of commitment people have throughout the county and in Cascade Locks -- it's very inspiring," said Metsger.

Cascade Locks currently ranks first in the county for unemployment and, according to law enforcement statistics, methamphetamine use among adults alone rose 500 percent between 1997 and 1999. In addition, a disproportionate number of youth from the rural town are showing up in the county's teen court for first offenses involving alcohol or drugs.

Last year the Cascade Locks City Council declared the entire community a "Drug-Free Zone" and posted warning signs at both ends of town. The new code cuts off travel for 90 days within the municipality to any resident or visitor arrested on "probable" cause" for use, sale or possession or illegal drugs.

Next month Community Resource Office Aaron Jubitz will begin meeting with Cascade Locks residents to show them three years of crime data from their neighborhoods -- much associated with drug use -- and help them work toward greater safety and security.

"There are a lot of people from vast and different organizations who are working on the liveability of Cascade Locks and I think that's exciting," said Jubitz.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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